Overview of Using a Laptop

Before discussing the (relatively subjective) advantages and disadvantages of using a laptop, I believe it is best to come up with a clear definition and overview of exactly what is a laptop computer as opposed to that of a desktop computer.

A laptop is essentially a personal computer that has the ability to be able to function and work -- essentially anywhere due to its power source being a rechargeable  battery. As a laptop is mobile and relatively small it possesses a great deal of (perhaps personal and subjective) benefits to a user, however a laptop does come with possible negative aspects as well for a computer user (that are descried below) -- relative to that of a desktop computer.

It is also worthy to note that the list of benefits and drawbacks (below) of using a laptop is a rather 'tongue in cheek' attempt - they will differ to different people. What one person may regard as an advantage of using a laptop, another may regard as a disadvantage of using a laptop or simply be an irrelevant point to their preferences. Ultimately, the choice of buying a laptop to that of a desktop simply lies on your preferences, tastes and what tasks you want to carry out on the computer. They may even vary due to the quality and model of the laptop -- you may argue a particular laptop is still not light/mobile enough -- but would you state that same point about a MacBook Air 13.3 inch for example? It may be that a laptop is not powerful enough for you - but again can that argument be made for the MacBook Pro 13.3 inch? Differing advantages and disadvantages of using laptops comes down to preferences on laptops in general, as well as the specifics of laptop models (and their price).

Advantages of Using a Laptop

Mobility - the major benefit that makes using laptops great -- is that they are mobile and small. From this, the laptop has many positive aspects over that of a desktop computer. Such as the following:

- They have the ability to save you time. For example, if you needed to write up a word document or make a Powerpoint presentation, but you happened to be a fair distance away from your nearest desktop -- you will have saved the amount of time it had taken you to get to it (and perhaps back), if had you carried your laptop computer around with you.

- You have the ability to work well collaboratively within groups (which can be difficult when working amongst several desktop computers) for a task or project that requires the use of computers. E.g. through a google document/presentations.

- With a laptop computer you can work from anywhere you please, hence you can enjoy a sunny day out working with your laptop, rather than having to always be cramped up inside regardless of the weather with your desktop.

As an educational tool, laptops are more suited to a classroom/university education environment as you can type up notes in lectures and classrooms(which some people find to be faster than writing) etc. whilst not taking up too much space (be sure to mute your laptop computer though) compared to that of a desktop computer.

There are many additional (and more personal) factors also – but the main source of all these positive aspects of using a laptop are all ultimately due to the small size of the laptop along with the factor that it is smaller.

Please add any additional advantages of using a laptop below in the comments section.

Disadvantages of Using a Laptop

When a laptop computer gets compared to a desktop computer -- the main drawback that gets raised usually is that the laptop computer has, given the price is equal, on the average will be less powerful (in terms of graphics, RAM etc.) computer in comparison to that of a desktop computer.  Therefore, the same argument can be made for a laptop being more expensive than of the desktop computer as well, if they were to have equal (or similar) power.

There is also the fact that laptop personal computers are  far more fragile (obviously their 'toughness' ranges across laptop models) than that of desktop computers - along with their nature in being portable, you are far more likely to accidentally break a laptop computer than that of a desktop computer (e.g. by dropping it). You also need to consider that a laptop computer is also more likely to be stolen – if you are going to be taking your laptop into public areas etc.

Difficult to upgrade and repair -- with some laptops models it is difficult to upgrade certain aspects of the laptop hardware in order to keep it up to date, certainly compared to that of desktop models. Laptops when broken are also a lot more difficult and often more expensive to repair and maintain than desktop computer.

Laptops have  limited battery power - although in essence this is what makes it so great – that it allows the computer to be mobile and portable, it can also be argued to be one of its major drawbacks as well (especially a model with a particularly low battery life). There is only a limited time on which you can work on a laptop computer, which simply does not apply to a desktop computer (unless, like a desktop you are plugged into the mains via the laptop charger).

If you have any additional disadvantages of using a laptop, please leave a comment below.

Summary of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Laptop

Overall, whether you buy a laptop computer or not is going to mainly down to your personal preferences (even to the type of laptop you buy) – for example if you are mainly looking for power (e.g. PC gaming) and are not concerned with the need for mobility etc. then you are probably going to be wanting to opt for a desktop computer, rather than a laptop computer (although there are gaming laptops in the market you may wish to consider). However, if some of the advantages I raised above of using a laptop appeal to you then, you need to consider how important those factors are to you as well as how much the disadvantages concern you. I recommend that you analyse exactly what are your needs and what factors of using a personal computer are important to you -- then try and find a model of desktop/laptop computer that suits your particular needs and preferences as best as possible.

If you have any additional comments and remarks regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using a laptop then I encourage you to please comment below.